Five Crazy Stories From Sebastian Bach’s New Book, ’18 and Life on Skid Row’
Anyone involved in one of the top bands of the hair-metal era is going to have some stories to tell. These sorta things don’t get much lurid than they do in former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach‘s new autobiography 18 and Life on Skid Row, out today on HarperCollins imprint Dey Street Books. From his humble beginnings as a dedicated member of the Kiss Army in a small Canadian town through his stints on Broadway and beyond, Bach rarely holds back on the more colorful chapters of his career. Here are five of the craziest stories he tells.
Wheel Gone Wild
While hanging out with Metallica during a rooftop photo shoot in 1990 in Bach’s adopted hometown of Toronto, the beer was flowing, and the singer discovered a bicycle on the building top and gleefully pedaled around on it. After realizing the front wheel was detachable, he started rolling it around, got carried away and it then shot off the ledge. Horrified, Bach and Metallica ran to the edge to see the spinning wheel land right through the windshield of a brand new Mercedes-Benz SUV.
Metallica play a part in some of the book’s more lively pieces, including one incident involving Lars Ulrich and his Bay Area home, where they were drinking and doing lots of drugs. The pair noticed some guys running back and forth on the property, but thinking nothing of it, they continued to party. After Ulrich had gone on and on about the new car stereo he had installed — with amplifiers and speakers that were “the most powerful known to man” — he and Bach went to the garage to test it out. Ulrich put in a CD, preparing to blow Bach’s mind and eardrums. But remember those guys running around earlier? They had broken into Ulrich’s car and stolen the speakers and amplifiers, casting a deafening silence on the afternoon.
Catching Mötley Crüe on the Generation Swine tour in New York City, Bach found himself in front of a group of Hells Angels. During “Shout at the Devil,” he enthusiastically pumped his fist. At one point, he threw his arm back and elbowed one of the motorcycle gang’s members right in the face. Bach tried to reason with him by saying, “C’mon dude!! It’s the Crüe!!!!!” That didn’t help the situation, and the biker grabbed Bach’s head, bent him back and permanently rearranged his nose. There’s a happy ending to this story, though: They ended up becoming party buds and hanging out the rest of the night.
Having reconnected with Axl Rose in the mid-’00s, Bach was invited to join Guns N’ Roses at the 2006 Download Festival in Donington, England, for the song “My Michelle.” For a multitude of reasons — including starting the gig late, a slippery stage and an edgy and agitated audience — Rose wasn’t in the best mood afterward. On the post-gig helicopter ride back to London, Bach noticed a “despondent” Rose “fidgeting nervously” with the helicopter’s door handle. Fearing the worst, he kept his eyes on Rose – who also had refused to put on his seat belt – for the entire trip, worried that the GNR frontman was going to bail out.
Dissed by Kiss
In 2000, Bach joined the cast of Broadway’s Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical in the lead role, beating out Kiss co-founder Paul Stanley for the part. During the run, Bach got word that Stanley would be coming to a show, and an anxious Bach waited afterward to hear from one of his idols. He even had a massive Dynasty-era poster in his dressing room, but Stanley never showed. He left at intermission. “I understand sour grapes,” Bach writes. “The thing that hurt was that I am such a fan. The kid inside me was pained that I may have upset someone I genuinely looked up to.”